Emptyset – Demiurge (Subtext)


Bristol-based electronic duo Emptyset (real names James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas) unleashed a brutally stripped-back take on minimalist techno with their self-titled debut album on Caravan last year, and this follow-up ‘Demiurge’ sees them taking their explorations out into even more austere pastures; indeed there ‘s scarcely any evidence of a techno pulse to be found on more than a few of the eleven tracks collected here. ‘Departure’ gives a good indication as to the sorts of forbidding industrial-hued atmospheres being explored here as a relentlessly slow sub-bass pulse gradually builds momentum amidst hissing walls of background static, only for the rush of white noise to suddenly widen out into a steady torrential rain of sparks, before ‘Void’ sees vast grinding metallic textures scraping back and forth like some relentless corroded mechanism amidst a steadily swelling growl of crunchy bass distortion that lurks Throbbing Gristle-style like a poisonous gas cloud.

Elsewhere, ‘Monad’ almost sees some hints of colour seeping into the monochromatic landscapes as bright buzzing synth sweeps arc off a flexing backdrop of slow, distorted beats and buzzing powerline electronics, bursts of pure white noise periodically disrupting the track’s murderous creep, while ‘Sphere’ manages to easily offer up one of this album’s most intriguing moments as broken rhythmic pulses ricochet back and forth between the speakers like angry wasps, metallic factory-line percussion beating out melodic patterns as the sense of gathering tension relentlessly builds. Austere to the point of severity, yet pure in its approach, ‘Demiurge’ is recommended to fans of grinding post-techno landscapes along the lines of Pan Sonic and Porter Ricks.

Chris Downton


About Author

A dastardly man with too much music and too little time on his hands